Just like the Kardashian sisters rule the world of social media, the Hadid sisters rule the world of modeling. Bella, the younger of the two, chooses to take life one show at a time, enjoying the unfolding career of a great model with remarkable beauty. She's followed in her sister Gigi's footsteps, walking for the likes of Versace and Ralph Lauren.
Isabella Khair Bella Hadid, as is her full name, was born in Los Angeles, California. Her father, Mohamed, was a successful luxury real-estate developer and her mother Yolanda was a model, working for the Ford Modeling Agency and traveling the world for fifteen years. Yolanda also stars in the reality show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Bella is of Dutch and Palestinian ancestry. She has an older sister who is also a famous model named Gigi, and a younger brother Anwar, who is also a model. From her father’s side, she has two older half-sisters with whom she shares a close relationship. When Bella was fourteen years old, her parents divorced. Later on, her mother married David Foster, a music producer, through whom Bella has five step-sisters.
Bella’s early childhood began on a ranch in Santa Barbara. At the age of three, she began horseback riding, which grew to become her great passion and even a possible career choice. ‘My devotion stemmed from my mom’s love of horses’, she says. ‘I have been riding since I could walk, and the fact that my mom knew everything about horses really helped my passion grow.’ Later on, she added: ‘You know how every model is like: I do yoga. Well, I find horses have the same effect.’ When she was in elementary school, the whole family moved to Malibu, where she continued riding and competing as an equestrian. She even planned on attending the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. However, in 2012, along with her mother and brother, Bella was diagnosed with the Lyme disease. Because of that, she had to give up competing. She also kept quiet about her disease for as long as three years. ‘This was the biggest heartbreak of her life, and extremely sensitive subject for her’, her mother said. ‘She is resilient and focused on a new direction, she’s made a name for herself in the modeling industry while she struggles with symptoms of chronic Lyme every day.’
Although Bella’s sister, Gigi, began modeling when she was just a toddler, Bella was sixteen years old when she did her first project, a Flynn Skye commercial. Soon, other projects followed, like the Swan Sittings photoshoot by Lesa Amoore, and Smoking Hot by Copeland.
When she was seventeen, she got arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and on a suspended driving license, after she ran a stop sign. As a result, she had her license suspended again and was sentenced to being six months on probation.
In 2014, at the age of eighteen, Bella signed with IMG Models and moved to New York City in order to begin her studies of photography at the Parsons School of Design. ‘I was so nervous in the beginning’, she said. ‘I’ve always been really hard on myself. If I didn’t book a job, I would cry.’
Soon, Bella’s career took off and she dropped out of college to pursue it, hoping to go back one day, when she retires from modeling.
Bella appeared on her first New York Fashion Week in the autumn of 2014, walking for Desigual. In 2015, she did her first cover shoot for Jalouse magazine. She was also featured on Day 27 of Love Magazine’s Love Advent. In the spring season, she worked for Tom Ford in Los Angeles, and amfAR 22nd Cinema Against AIDs Gala fashion show.
For the New York Fashion Week of 2015, she walked for Diane von Fürstenberg, Tommy Hilfinger, Marc Jacobs, and she closed the show for Jeremy Scott.
Then, she traveled to London Fashion Week, where she walked for Topshop Unique and Giles. She also did Milan Fashion Week where she walked for Philipp Plein, Moschino, Missoni and Bottega Veneta, and Paris Fashion Week where she walked for Balmain.
Bella appeared on the cover of Seventeen in November of that same year, and she continued to shoot editorials for magazines, such as Vogue Australia and Elle. She was on the cover of Unconditional Magazine, Grey Magazine, V Magazine with her sister Gigi, Editorialist, Wonderlands 10th Birthday Issue, S Moda, Evening Standard etc.
In December of 2015, she did Métiers d’Art show in Rome for Chanel.
Bella was also one of eight young models to work on a Topshop’s Holiday campaign. Along with her sister Gigi, she appeared in Balmain’s Fall 2015 ad campaign. She also starred in Victoria’s Secret Pink Line Holiday campaign and appeared in Samsung’s Fall/Winter Look Book with Xiao Wen Ju, incorporating both fashion and innovation.
Being that 2015 was a year of her breakthrough and the rise of her career, Bella was awarded Model.com Break Out Star: Women for Reader’s Choice Category.
Then, 2016 brought her the fashion show of Chanel Couture during Paris Haute Couture S/S Fashion week. She also walked for Givenchy, as well as Miu Miu in Paris Fashion Week in March.
In February, she walked for FentyxPuma in New York Fashion Week. In May, she did the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Australia, opening and closing the Misha Resort 2017 show.
Bella appeared again on amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDs fashion show. In May, she appeared at Dior Cruise 2017 fashion show in London.
In June, she appeared on Men’s Paris Fashion Week. During Fall/Winter Paris Haute Couture, she walked for Versace, Dior and Alexandre Vauthier, closing the show. She also closed the show for Fendi Haute Couture in Rome. She then continued with her fashion week appearances of the year, walking for DKNY, Michael Kors, Anna Sui, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Versus Versace, Alberta Ferreti, Fendi, Max Mara, Moschino, Bottenga Veneta, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini.
In November, Bella walked the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, featuring two looks, one from the Bright Night Angels collection for which she wore a pair of wings, and one from Secret Angels.
During 2016, Bella appeared on the covers of numerous magazines throughout the world in Mexico, Spain, Japan, Australia, Russia, Brazil, US, UK, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iceland, Korea, Turkey. She also did many editorials in prestigious magazines and starred in LOVE Advent’s calendar for Day 1 of the Aerobics segment. Bella was also featured in campaigns like Calvin Kelin’s Fall/Winter 2016 global campaign.
In May of that year, she appeared in the Tyer Ford’s film Private.
That same month, Dior announced that Bella was to become the new ambassador of Dior Makeup, starring in a web series called Dior Makeup Live with Bella Hadid.
Bella won the Model of the Year award at Daily Front Row’s Fashion Los Angeles Awards and was ranked amongst Models.com Top 50 Models list. She also won Model of the Year of the GQ Men of the Year Awards.
As Bella’s popularity and recognition rise, it is clear that 2017 will be the busiest year yet, with no time for a break from stardom. She has already made an appearance during the Fall/Winter Menswear Fashion Show in Paris, as well as New York Fashion Week, and is preparing other projects for different fashion shows around the world. Interestingly, although she’s been working with her sister often, at the beginning of the year, for the very first time she shot a campaign for Zadig & Voltaire with her younger brother, Anwar.
Bella is often mentioned in connection to her sister who is also a model, Gigi Hadid. Although Gigi may be more known than Bella at the moment, the two are often booked to work together, because although sisters, their beauties contrast each other. ‘Blondes are so angelic’, Bella says. ‘My sister can get away with anything.’ The girls are drawing the attention of the public more and more, especially of the girls that are close to their age, who like to look up to and identify themselves with them.
As Bella has been struggling with Lyme disease for years now, and has made that public in 2015, she supports the fight against it. Along with her mother, Bella has attended the Global Lyme Alliance gala in 2016.
Bella has also been a promoter of the positive body image, not wanting to be perceived as perfect at all times. ‘I definitely gain weight, and I’m not naturally thin’, she says. ‘I’m not really a big working out person, but I definitely like to do cardio when I do. I guess I run sometimes, drink green juices once a week. My body really reacts well to not eating a lot of wheat or dairy and staying on healthy foods.’ She also adds: ‘On a casual day, I’d usually put out my Vintage Levi’s, a pair of loafers or beat-up Converse, a bomber jacket and a button-down shirt. I’m not trying to be this cool girl. If you’re trying to be something you’re not, it’s slowly going to bite you in the butt.’
In the public eye, the Hadid family is often connected and compared to the Kardashian family, as the two are friendly towards each other and even distantly related. Bella’s sister Gigi and Kendall are close friends, drawing the attention of the public and spreading it onto their other family members.
Bella began dating the Canadian singer known as The Weeknd (whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfay) at the beginning of 2015. Although it is said that the couple first met via Bella’s sister, Gigi, they actually began flirting at Coachella, where he was a part of the line-up as a perfomer. They announced their relationship via an Instagram post.
Soon, Bella starred in The Weeknd’s music video for the song ‘In the Night’. In 2016, The Weeknd took Bella to the Grammys where they happily posed on the red carpet as a couple. Unfortunately, soon enough they broke up, apparently still in love but unable to compromise on their schedules. It is said that there were many differences between the two, like the fact that Bella was really loving the camera and paparazzi attention as it is her job, and The Weeknd being very camera-shy.
Even if that’s the case, Bella doesn’t describe herself as being overly confident. ‘I’m so socially awkward’, she says. ‘I really had to put myself out there and meet new people.’ She also adds: ‘I still feel awkward taking a selfie sometimes. It feels a little weird.’ And: ‘I’m really self-conscious if I go to trainers, so I just do stuff on my own. I go on the treadmill or do yoga and Pilates if I can.’
Bella also describes herself as being the type of person that prefers to stay at home and chill, instead of finding any excuse to go out and party, as many people her age do. ‘’I literally order sushi, watch Law & Order and go to sleep at 9 o’clock every night’, she confesses. ‘I’m a grandmother.’
She also decides to take it easy when it comes to her future. ‘I think there’s a right time for everything, and I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason’, she says. ‘I just aspire to be the best I can be. I want to work hard and set one goal at a time for myself.’
Written by: Tamara Djordjevic